The Power Plant

Couzyn Van Heuvelen


Courtesy Couzyn Van Heuvelen

Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and installation artist originally from Iqaluit, NU. Based in southern Ontario, van Heuvelen's artistic practice focuses on fusing Inuit art history and traditions with contemporary materials and technologies. Van Heuvelen's use of unconventional materials and fabrication processes, combined with elements of Inuit culture, mirrors his own process of exploring how traditional practices continue to influence his everyday life.

Van Heuvelen's series Fishing Lures (2015) features a variety of materials, from silver and brass to muskox horn and baleen, manipulated through various contemporary techniques. Laser-cut into the surface of Baleen Lure (2015) is a gold-tinted triangular pattern drawn from 3D scans of existing fishing lures transferred into a two-dimensional image. "The image etched into the surface resembles scrimshaw techniques," explains the artist, "as well as ancient examples of Inuit carvings that featured repeating geometric patterns."

Alongside these more intimate works, van Heuvelen has created a number of public art installations such as aluminum qamutiik at the Southway Inn in Ottawa, ON, as part of the Lost Stories Project in September 2017. The sculpture commemorates the significance of the site as a waypoint for Inuit travelling from the Arctic for school, work and medical services. Additional public works include the permanent installation Nitsiit (2017) at Sheridan College's Hazel McCallion Campus in Mississauga, ON, and Nets (2018), exhibited in Fort Qu'Appelle, SK, as part of the project Roadside Attractions.

In 2011, van Heuvelen received his BFA from York University in Toronto, ON, and his MFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, NS, in 2015. His work has been included in several group exhibitions across Canada, such as Insurgence/Resurgence (2018) at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Manitoba and the touring exhibition ᐊᕙᑖᓂᑦ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᓂᑦ Among All These Tundras (2018–19), among others. Van Heuvelen is currently represented by Fazakas Gallery in Vancouver, BC.